current as of 12PM EST, 27NOV23
The ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip has been extended by two days and is set to expire on the morning of November 30. Though an extension will allow for continued humanitarian aid to reach the region, it hinges on Hamas’ continued release of hostages to Israel. Out of the 150 Palestinian prisoners and 50 captives held in Gaza, 58 Palestinians and 39 Israelies have been released since the temporary truce began.
- Humanitarian Crisis: The United Nations reported it delivered 34,078 gallons of fuel this past weekend–over 10 percent of the daily pre-war volume–as well as cooking gas, for the first time since the conflict began. In addition, according to the head of the Sinai Red Crescent, Khaled Ziad, 200 aid trucks are expected to enter Gaza on November 27.
- U.S. Support: NBC News reports U.S. lawmakers have 12 legislative days to agree on 2024 government funding. Several leading Democrats suggested funding for Israel should be conditional on ending the conflict, but President Biden stated he will not draw a hard line for aid to Israel. He also said the chances of a truce are “real” and he expressed hope U.S. hostages would be freed soon. The funding decision may be further delayed due to continued debate regarding aid to Ukraine.
- Military Operations: Despite the pause in fighting, a Palestinian official claimed Israeli forces killed at least eight Palestinians in the West Bank on November 26. Though Israel said it would extend the truce by a day for every 10 additional hostages released, a government spokesperson told AP News operations will resume with “full force” if Hamas does not agree to releasing additional hostages. A Hamas spokesperson further said the truce is “temporary.”
- Regional Relations: In an uncharacteristic display of diplomacy, Iran’s Foreign Minister flew to Lebanon on November 24 to ensure Hezbollah will observe the truce, according to Al Jazeera. Yemeni rebels continued threatening cargo ships with alleged links to Israel. The U.S. military captured five Houthi rebels attempting to hijack an Israeli-linked cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden. In addition, U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq and Syria came under attack four times on November 24 by the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, a collection of Iran-aligned Iraqi armed groups, with no reported casualties or infrastructure damage.
- Protests: Three Palestinian University of Vermont students were shot and injured by a white assailant who fled the scene, according to CNN. Civil rights groups and the victim’s families claimed the crime was racially motivated due to the victims’ keffiyehs, traditional Palestinian scarves, which may lead to demonstrations in coming weeks. In addition, over 30 demonstrators were detained at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City and protests occurred at shopping centers in several U.S. cities on Black Friday. Thousands marched through Central London on November 25 to demand a permanent ceasefire, according to Al Jazeera; the Metropolitan Police arrested five individuals on suspicion of inciting racial hatred.
Cyber news in Israel this week centered on Elon Musk as he visited the region to provide the Gaza Strip with Starlink communications technology. In addition, Democrats accused his platform, X, of profiting from Hamas propaganda.
- Elon Musk visited Israel on November 27, as Israeli government officials claimed they reached an agreement to use Starlink communications in the Gaza Strip. Israel’s Minister of Communications stated the technology “can only be operated in Israel with the approval of the Israeli Ministry of Communications, including the Gaza Strip.”
House Democrats accused X of profiting from propaganda and misinformation about the Israel-Hamas war after reports by independent researchers found accounts glorifying Hamas, according to CNN. A report released by NewsGuard, a rating system for news websites, claimed ads for 86 major advertisers, including Pizza Hut, Airbnb, and Microsoft, were shown on viral posts that pushed false or misleading claims about the conflict.
We continue to urge anyone with business interests in Israel and the surrounding regions to exercise extreme caution, and to consider postponing any upcoming travel. We also encourage travelers to avoid all demonstrations and maintain awareness of their surroundings in areas with protest activity. Travelers and businesses should also consider:
- Watching for updated U.S. Department of State worldwide travel advisories.
- Avoiding in and around Israel, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other portions of the Gulf.
- Reaching out to Concentric’s experts for support. Concentric can provide:
- Emergency evacuation and secure transportation, and support from local partners;
- Active monitoring and intelligence support, including tailored risk and travel assessments;
- Tailored security consulting;
- Executive protection agents;
- Cybersecurity and digital privacy protection.
CONCENTRIC CAN HELP
- Emergency evacuation and secure transportation.
- Support from local and regional partners.
- Active monitoring and intelligence support, including tailored reports and briefings.
- Travel and risk assessments.
- Tailored security consulting.
- Executive protection agents.
- Cybersecurity and digital privacy protection.
Feature image source.